Will my girls protect me?
#1
A little while back, a friend of mine came over to my house. He'd not been here for years, and not since we got the girls (Maddy & Murphy, two female BCs).
As is typical of our girls, they bark aggressively at anyone who enters the house they don't know. I don't mind this, as I see part of the purpose of having dogs is to protect the house and the family. (Note: that by no means is an indication I want the girls to be sacrificial lambs - quite the opposite actually... but the barking as a deterrent is welcomed by I).
Just like other times the girls have barked at visitors, after a while and after much insistence by myself that the visitor is a good guy and a friend, the girls eventually settled down, accepted my friend then duly started to lick his toes. 
At which point my friend said to me, that in his view it is for certain that my girls would attack someone who attacked me, that is they would protect me if put in a situation where I was being assaulted. I told my friend I didn't agree with this, and that I thought it was ALL BARK (so to speak), but afterwards I thought about it more and it dawned on me that my friend has had a number of dogs in the past whereas I am a virtual dog rookie, so I started thinking maybe he is right.

So I wanted to run this one past the members here.

If you have a BC (or 2 in our case), is it a given they would protect you if you were being attacked (by another human, say a burglar, or even another dog I suppose)?
We have never trained our dogs to be attackers/killers. But they display serious herding instincts, and as stated earlier they will bark aggressively at someone who is inside the house whom they don't know well. (and by extension they bark aggressively when they hear strange noises either out the back or out the front of the house). 
Outside the house though, say if we are taking them for a walk, they won't bark at people - which, then tells me they are very possessive of the house they live in. Outside the house they are gentle beings (to humans that is).
They have never attacked a human, however they quite often will get into fights with other dogs at local parks (less so Murphy, but very much so Maddy who is incredibly possessive of her ball and her masters - so that's me, my wife and my daughter).
So, with that background info, can I ask the resident experts here, IF a stranger came into our house, or walked up to me on the street, and displayed aggressive behaviour towards me, would my girls respond with aggression and potentially with force to this human? If I was being attacked physically, would the girls protect me?

As a side note, an addendum of sorts I suppose, a few weeks back I was awoken late at night while sleeping. I heard a noise. My wife was sound asleep, and so I grabbed the baseball bat, and asked Maddy to come with me to check out the house, but the little coward just stayed in her crate ! After much insistence she decided to accompany me in my patrolling the house (in my undies no doubt!), but after a few mins she decided to go back upstairs to her crate. So, a warrior she might not yet be!!!
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#2
To be honest you do not know until it happens, hopefully you will never need to find out.
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#3
I agree, you cannot know until a situation arises. I don't think barking is an indication of whether or not they will physically protect you, it is after all pretty typical dog behaviour that many of us have to get under control with our dogs. The barking could be reactivity or territorial rather than protectiveness.
My eldest boy Max I can say with reasonable certainty would protect/resource guard me. His actions would be fear based and he would fight before fleeing. He has demonstrated this tendency on a couple of occasions. One was when a traffic controller stopped me at road works. He and Jasper were on the back seat and when the guy approached the window to talk to me Max growled seriously. The guy then put his hand on the door ledge of the open window and Max lunged forward snarling and snapping. Only for the fact that Max was wearing a car harness did the guy escape getting his fingers bitten but he still got quite a fright. I was genuinely surprised at his reaction, he is a sweet soft boy generally speaking who loves everyone.
Jasper is a different dog completely and only 7 months old.

Re;side note. She probably didn't want to get out of her crate because she knew there was nothing amiss in the house. Her nose and ears may well have told her a story before you went to check. I have an image of her accompanying you reluctantly and then thinking "see nothing" and going back to bed. LOL
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#4
Ember is the single most scariest sounding dog I have ever had the pleasure of living with - in the house. My brother DJ (the one that doesn't live here) has woken her up at a dead sleep coming in at 4 am (we gave him a key and the boy is a night owl...). She sounded like she was absolutely going to rip him to shreds. Woke all of us up.

Silly pup ran to my room when he entered anyway, then proceeded with her terror-inducing screaming from the corner of my bed.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
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#5
I can imagine my dogs running around behind someone and biting them in the butt, but not face to face. Basically, if your dog puffs up it's hackles, it's barking out of fear and may fear bite, but it is less likely to come forward to your aid.
Gotta love 'em.
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#6
(03-14-2017, 06:15 PM)Gideon Wrote: I can imagine my dogs running around behind someone and biting them in the butt, but not face to face.  Basically, if your dog puffs up it's hackles, it's barking out of fear and may fear bite, but it is less likely to come forward to your aid.

I agree GM,  the more noise the less confidence. 
I once had 2 Great Danes coming charging out at me and May, Draco and Carter.  It was my easy going chilled Super friendly Golden that stood his ground and got rid of them, not my usually barky guys, who were unusually silent and terrified, lol.
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#7
I remember hearing someplace (might have been a Patricia McConnell DVD) that barking can be a mobbing call.  Basically a dog saying "Warning!  Danger!  Help!"  My GSD definitely had a bark that seemed to be a warning that he would protect us if necessary but the collies seem to bark as if warning me that something is wrong and I need to take care of it.  

My GSD is gone now but when I got Mattie it only took her a couple of days to learn the big dog's intruder bark from the 'Dad is home!' bark.  The intruder bark sent Mattie running to hide in a safe place but the 'Dad is home!' bark would have her running to the front door with a happy bark of her own.  Tasha knew the difference too.  Intruder, stand back away from the front door barking as if to say "We have a big dog here, you had better go away".  But the 'Dad' bark would send her looking for a ball (we all know that Dad always wants to play ball).

I once read that the two best thing for security were a yappy little dog and a elderly noisy neighbor.  Both draw attention and that isn't anything a criminal wants.

When we got Mattie I was very interested at how soon she figured out my GSDs barks and I remember thinking how I didn't know the difference.  And then I remembered something that happened before we got the collies.  My husband was due to be home soon and I was busy cleaning the house.  The dog barked and I went to the front door to greet my husband.  I didn't know why at the time but just before I opened the door I grabbed the collar of my GSD.  I opened the door to see the UPS truck and the driver delivering a package.  My GSD barked and lunged with me holding his collar.  I usually put him in a sit and made him be quiet to greet visitors so he reacted to the change in routine.  I felt horrible for scaring the UPS driver.  It didn't occur to me until after my boy was gone that I did know the difference between his warning bark and his 'Dad' bark, I just wasn't aware of it.
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#8
Haha, I know exactly what you mean by holding back a GSD, I am pretty sure Trifan does too.
I used it to my advantage once. I was in a park and some guy in the distance was acting suspicious. I turned around and starting heading towards him, he hid in a bush.
So I started acting really edgy and when I got close to the bush grabbed my GSD in close, he exploded.
The guy came out from the bush and stuttered I don't want to hurt you. I said I couldn't say the same about me dog. He said he was just looking for his dog, hmm. This was before cell phones were popular, so when I got home I reported it to the police.
A friend of mine who was a GSD owner used the grab the dog technique when a guy exposed himself to her. She said is was surprising how fast someone can run with their pants around their ankles, lol
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#9
Quirkydog, great stories.

The funny thing is that my GSD never really pulled that hard but I'm not a very big person so it must have looked like I was attempting to hold back a rabid dog. I still feel bad about the UPS guy. We have a couple of different drivers and my kids have reported that they have watched the UPS driver carefully place the package on the doorstep, ring the bell, and run like crazy to the truck. Thankfully, my FedEx driver has shepherds so he isn't afraid of me.
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#10
Interesting.

Maddy is the older one and she barks less.

Murphy is the baby and she barks at the drop of a hat.

I reckon Maddy, the older, more quiet one, is the one who would attack. Maybe.
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